UFC President Dana White wants five-round non-title bouts. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
Five-round fights are currently reserved only for championship bouts in the UFC, but that may not be the case for long.
On Friday, UFC President Dana White discussed the possibility of big -- but not title -- fights using the 25-minute time limit.
“We’re very close to [implementing five-round non-title fights]” White revealed during the Fan Expo Q&A session while promoting UFC 129.
The extra two rounds for important fights would likely help to prevent those bouts from ending in draws, as in the recent case of B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch at UFC 127 in February. However, the UFC boss says he had another bout in mind for the promotion's inaugural foray into five-rounders without a title on the line.
“We were actually going to start it with Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos [at UFC 131], but we had already made the fight,” White said. “But we already made the fight, so it’s kind of hard to go back to those guys after you already make the fight and say that it is going to be five [rounds] instead of three.”
Though the UFC head has discussed the topic of five and even seven-round fights in the past, this appears to be the most serious iteration of that discussion. Though White has also expressed his desire to see seven-round title fights, that topic was not broached on Friday.